I have just come out of two weeks of quarantine with an 18 month old. I’m okay. I survived. I’m chubbier, I’ve forgotten how to put on a bra, and I now despise Cocomelon with every ounce of my being, but I’m okay.
Since we couldn’t leave the house, and we live in an apartment with no garden, we really had our work cut out trying to keep our son busy and engaged, day after day, whilst also working from home. We have now emerged, alive and well, blinking in the light, so I thought I’d share some simple ideas we discovered for entertaining a toddler during quarantine (although we hope you’ll never need them!).
Turn Bathtime Into A Full-Blown Activity
Rather than a 10 minute routine bath before bed every other evening, I changed things up a bit during quarantine. My son LOVES being in the bath so I took advantage of this by moving his bath to mid-morning or afternoon, getting in the bath with him, putting in lots of bubbles and toys and just splashing around for 30 minutes.
Wrap Random Things In Tin Foil
This tip came from a friend in Austria who endures long periods indoors with her brood every year due to the harsh winters. Collect up a few of your child’s favourite things from around the house: toys, cups, snacks, a book, anything you know they will like, and wrap them individually in tin foil. Although the items will be familiar to them, you’ll be amazed how excited they get when they unwrap the foil to reveal the surprise within.
Bubbles On The Balcony
Not having a garden suddenly becomes quite an issue when you can’t leave the house, but I was determined to get us all out into the fresh air every day. I found that a bubble machine or wand is a fun outdoor activity for them to take part in, and doesn’t require too much space so you can do it on the balcony.
Football In The Hall
For the purposes of quarantine, I removed all furniture, pictures, and anything fragile from our hallway and converted it into a football shooting range, and this was by far his favourite activity. He stands at one end and myself or my husband stand at the other, kicking the ball back and forth. He played so much I’m now convinced I’ll be retiring early when he becomes the next Ronaldo.
Whatever Makes You Happy, Kid
Being forced to spend such a long time indoors meant relaxing a bit on our usual routine in order to keep our sanity. My son got his dummy more than usual, he watched more TV than he normally would, and he constantly grazed on snacks. I felt that, just like I needed a break and was struggling with the confinement, he was struggling too. And, yes, perhaps it will give us more work in the long run trying to pull things back in a bit, but I’d rather that than make what is already a mentally challenging experience even harder.
If you’re stuck indoors and have discovered some simple ways of entertaining a toddler during quarantine, let us know! You’ll find us on Facebook and Instagram. For more activity ideas, both indoor and outdoor, visit our Island Activities section.